Reasons for resigning from Art in Public Places Subcommittee

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Thursday, 23 June 2011 10:42 p.m.
To: Dave Cull

Your Worship,

My misgivings about the constitution of and direction of the Art in Public Places Subcommittee have reach a head with the proposed attached budget.

The Subcommittee seems to me to be driven by minority agendas resulting in proposals for which I can not see wide public support, or even narrow public support.

In a sub-quorum meeting today it became evident that there is majority subcommittee support for a peep-hole haka artwork which I consider to be excessively expensive, temporary, technically fraught, elitist, and time-challenged.

I have today voiced some of my concerns, especially my technical concerns [based on hire of similar electronics experience, and the fact that today’s demonstration could not be rebooted to go] and find this countered with claims of high art [yet to see any content evidence] Ngai Tahu approval [+$30,000], and contained hostility.

Since I have few art credentials [BA Otago Aesthetics] and have discharged as much of my technical opinion as I dare, I feel I have done all I usefully can on this Subcommittee and would like to now be officially released from it.

I can not agree to the spending level that is now proposed.

I can not agree that there is sufficient public good in the proposal or the work of the Subcommittee to warrant DCC support.

I am concerned that a narrowly focused Subcommittee has lost contact with its funders and function.

Although politeness and respect has held thus far I am concerned that my continuing to serve on this Committee may progress to destructive levels of hostility and become personal. [I live in a wooden house]

I look forward to your confirmation of my resignation from this Subcommittee.

Kind regards,


On 24/06/11 9:53 AM, Dave Cull wrote:

Noted Lee,

I am happy to have you drop off the committee and that will take a resolution of Council. So Tai ho and remind me so that we can get it onto the next agenda.



From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 10:10:34
To: Dave Cull

Many thanks Your Worship.

If there is any other job or issue that you think I could more fruitfully undertake please let me know. I do not wish to appear work-shy.

I am sorry that I am so ill-disposed towards the Art in Public Places Subcommittee current direction, especially when I am personally very keen on Art in Public Places.

Kind regards,


About Lee Vandervis

My name is Lee Vandervis and I was born in Balclutha 60 years ago to Dutch immigrant parents who ran a successful building contractor business. I have been passing Dad nails since I can remember and I learned to swing a hammer usefully early in life. My parents always pushed the values of thrift and a broad education. At Otago University I gained a BA in Philosophy before going to London for 5 years overseas experience, working in electronics manufacturing and rising to Production Manager of Midas Audio UK, building mixing consoles for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. I returned to Dunedin in 1981 to have a family and set up Vandervision Lighting Audio and Video, making it Dunedin’s largest lighting hire business, and restoring heritage buildings like Dundas st Church and 401 Moray Place along the way. I sold most of my business interests when first elected to the DCC in 2004. Dunedin City Councillor profile:
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